Friday, July 20, 2012

Red Rock Whirlwind: Nevada/Utah 2012

At the end of TAM2012, I had a fever. And the only prescription was Red Rock. So I booked a night at Zion and a night at Bryce. I rolled through the Valley of Fire and Red Canyon while in transit. I hiked much of Bryce’s Peek-a-boo loop, sinking deep into the mud of a rain-soaked section of trail. And I explored Zion’s Canyon Overlook trail early enough to have it all to myself (except for a few mountain goats).

2012 07 Red Rock Whirlwind

Sunday, July 15, 2012

PAEMST Washington, DC 2012

PAEMST Recognition: Washington, DC (June 27-29)
Awardees are allowed to bring a guest, so I brought Jean (Mom). We flew to DC on 7/26 and checked in at the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel, where the term, “lobbyist” is said to have originated. PAEMST events began on 7/27 and continued through 7/29. Dinner at Decatur House with guest speaker/White House Chef, Sam Kass, sessions at the National Science Foundation and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with Physicist S. James Gates and Department of Education personnel. An awards ceremony at the Reagan Building with US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and a photo-op at the White House with President Obama.

Well, that last part didn’t work out. Colorado caught on fire before we arrived, and President Obama was in Colorado when we were at the White House. So we got Joe and Dr. Jill Biden. We got an official group photo with the veep and the Second Lady. Someday we hope to see this photo. And we were treated to our requisite gaffe (a guaranteed part of The Joe Biden Experience™). He stayed afterward to shake hands with all 97 of us, and assured me he had recently been to Sacramento. My PAEMST adventure is documented (in detail) at

PAEMST Extended Stay: Washington, DC (June 30-July 5)
Jean and I stayed post-PAEMST to tour the District. We saw many monuments, memorials, and museums, and got proficient at the Metro. We met up with former students: the intense Jason Kamras (Rio ’91; National Teacher of the Year 2005) for breakfast near Howard University, and the effervescent Morgan Lambert (who was in the video I submitted in the application) for some photo-shooting at the National Zoo. I schemed to stay through the 4th, because I figured they might have some fireworks in DC. I even scoped out a prime place to shoot (photograph) them from. And I was able to snap some keepers with the D800E.